Almost 20 years ago, physician Dr Michael Gliksman was involved in research suggesting that socioeconomic disadvantage during childhood can have lifelong health consequences.
Since then, a variety of studies have helped unpick some of the factors involved, and he says the implications for policy are now clear:
“The evidence supports the view that income support to lift all but especially children above realistic poverty levels and well-funded public education and health programs are essential.
In the Australian context this means equal health care access, school funding based on actual student need, the NDIS, and income support sufficient to ensure no child lives in poverty.”
If health ever surfaces as a federal election issue, Croakey wonders if these issues will be at the front of the queue?
Perhaps we will even spare a thought for the future health of those 28 babies who were born in immigration detention between 3 October 2009 and 26 May 2011 (as per documents obtained under FOI by Detention Logs).
Perhaps – now here’s a wild and crazy thought – our political leaders will be asked about their commitment to implementing a Health in All Policies approach….
Addressing the evidence on childhood deprivation and health
Michael Gliksman (@MGliksmanMDPhD) writes:
Almost two decades ago some of us at the Harvard Medical School’s Channing Laboratory, home of the Nurses Health Study, sought to examine the link between childhood deprivation and risk of later life disease.
It was known that the relative socioeconomic status of adults is a determinant of health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Could childhood socioeconomic status (SES) affect later life incidence of CVD? Can adult experience mitigate the association, if any? Until our study results were in, no-one knew.
My research group found individuals who grew up in manual (as compared to non-manual) households were at increased risk of developing CVD in adulthood, independent of the individual’s own attained SES.READ MORE